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Friday, February 08 2013 | Vol. 32, No. 6

Indo American erican News

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www.indoamerican-news.com Published weekly from Houston, TX

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Faith Dialogues Guests after dinner at the home of Mahinder and Hardip Singh.

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HMM Celebrates Makar Sankrant

Ashirwad Vedic Fair on February 23

India Approves New Rape Laws

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INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 08, 2013 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


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COMMUNITY

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Dialogue Across the Dinner Table Fosters Understanding of the Sikh Faith

BY JAWAHAR MALHOTRA HOUSTON: About the same time that Bobby Singh began to describe the elements of about his own faith, eighteen other Sikh families across a broad swath of Houston were holding their own dialogues over dinner around their dining tables as they and their guests dug into their Punjabi meals. The words he used to describe the tenets of Sikhism, its history and its practice today merged with the aromas and taste of the food to bring together a cultural and religious impact for the non-Sikh guests at Bobby and Jasmeeta Singh’s home off Eldridge near Clay Road on the west side of town. The Singhs have been deeply involved in the InterFaith Ministries of Greater Houston ever since Jasmeeta was elected to serve on the Board of the non-profit organization to represent the Sikh community. The couple was actively involved as organizing co-chairs of the InterFaith Ministries Tapestry Gala held late last year at the Hilton Americas. Last November, the group decided to spread knowledge of other faiths through interactions in a more cozy and relaxed atmosphere in the homes of community members, over a traditional dinner with South Asians, using a cornerstone of IMGH’s outreach, the Dinner Dialogues. IMGH sees these Dinner Dialogues as a way to build relationships and strengthen the fabric of our city through a genuine exchange of ideas and understanding with one another. They decided to begin the first dialogues by focusing on the three religions that originated on the Indian Sub-Continent and started with Sikhism. The evenings were designed to be both educational and a time to build friendships and the dinners would feature thoughtprovoking interfaith dialogue, as well as, an opportunity to learn about the traditions and faith prac-

Discussions over the dinner table at Bobby and Jasmeeta Singh’s home.

tices of Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist families in Houston. The Dinner Dialogues feature conversations held in private homes with groups of 8 to 12 other Houstonians who gather to learn about the faith, practices

and traditions of the community members while sharing a vegetarian meal. Each group discussion is facilitated by a moderator who creates a safe, non-confrontational space for all to share and listen. The purpose of the dinners is not

to provide a comprehensive understanding of the faith traditions, but instead to highlight key beliefs and practices to begin an informative conversation among people of different faiths. The series has been very well received this year with nearly forty host homes from the Hindu and Sikh communities hosting private dinners and nearly four hundred participants to date. On the evening of Thursday, January 24 the nineteen Sikh families who hosted the dinner spoke about their personal experience with their religion and heard questions and comments from the others. The final dinners will be held by Buddhist families on Thursday, March 7 from 6:30 to 9:30pm. “It was a pleasure to host one of the dinner dialogue series at our residence,” said Bobby. “We

thank IMGH for building bridges in our communities and facilitating the sharing of our beliefs. Jasmeeta and I believe we can chip away at ignorance by engaging all Houstonians in such faith-based exchange.” In addition to Bobby and Jasmeeta, others who took part in the January Dinner Dialogues were Kanta and Surinder Ahluwalia; Aku and Winnie Bedi; Jasdeep and Gurpreet Bhusri; Witty and Lubeena Bindra; Suhel and Sukie Singh; Gurmit and Seema Bhatia; Gurugian Khalsa; Gurmeet and Chanderjeet Kindra; Pritpal and Simi Kohli; Devinder and Jasdeep Lamba; Bhupinder and Taranjit Singh; Mandeep and Preeti Singh; Jagtar Singh Heir and wife; Harindar and Jasleen Singh; Mahinder and Hardip Singh and Mandeep and Manpreet Singh.

Jon Huntsman to be Honored in Houston HOUSTON: Jon Huntsman, Jr., recipient of the 2012 Roy M. Huffington Award for Contributions to International Understanding, will be speaking to a changing China at the first annual Huffington Award Luncheon on January 31 at 11:30am, at Hilton Americas – Houston. The adept politician, businessman, and diplomat, who served as the 16th Governor of Utah (2005–2009) and was a candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, has long and close ties to Asia that date back to 1979 when he lived and worked in Taiwan. After having served in government roles that include the Ambassador of the United States to the Republic of Singapore (1992– 1993), the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for East Asia (1990), and the U.S. Trade Representative (2001–2002), Huntsman was tapped by President Barack Obama to serve as the Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China

Jon Meade Huntsman, Jr. is an American politician, businessman, and diplomat.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 08, 2013 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

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COMMUNITY

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Blood Cancers: Stem Cell Transplantation Can Save a Life

BY SEWA S. LEGHA, MD Cancer can arise from any of the tissues of the human body, so the blood forming tissues (Bone marrow and Lymph glands) are no exception. Cancer that begins in the marrow is commonly called Leukemia and these cancerous cells circulate in the blood and can be easily detected by looking at the blood under a microscope. Cancer arising from the lymph glands is commonly called a Lymphoma. Another cancer arising in the bone marrow is called a Multiple myeloma but this one remains inside the bones which are often eaten up by the cancerous cells and tend to break easily. There are many subtypes of Leukemia and Lymphomas some of which are acute and aggressive; others are more indolent and run a chronic course over several years. Cancers of the blood are commonly called Hematologic cancers as opposed to rest of the cancers which are called Solid tumors. Whereas the solid tumors constitute 90% of all cancers Blood cancers account for about 10%. This translates to about 150,000 cases of blood cancers diagnosed in the US each year. Among all human cancers, Blood cancers tend to be generally more curable, with a few exceptions. No age is exempt from developing blood cancer. In fact among the Blood cancers, Leukemia is one of the more common cancers among the pediatric age group. Fortunately children respond to cancer treatments with much better results such that childhood leukemia is cured in more than 80% of cases. Signs and Symptoms: Patients with Blood cancer, especially those who have Leukemia, often present with impaired blood formation resulting in Anemia(low Hemoglobin), low or high white blood count and low platelet count. Since each of these cell types performs important physiologic functions in our body, patients may experience increasing fatigue or tiredness due to anemia or fever due to infections resulting from impaired production of normal white cells. Bleeding and easy bruising may be another manifestation due to low platelet counts. Patients with Lymphoma often present with fever or night sweats. Sometimes they may feel their enlarged lymph nodes especially in the neck area or in the groins. Patients with Multiple myeloma typically present with bone pain, often arising from their spine or sometimes develop a bone fracture from relatively minor trauma. An unexplained weight loss, poor appetite or persistent fever can be the presenting features of any cancer, including blood cancer. Treatment of Blood Cancer: As opposed to its critical role in the treatment of the Solid tumors, surgery plays no role in the treatment of blood cancers. Similarly Radiation therapy has a limited role to play for treatment of blood cancers especially in Leukemia and multiple myeloma.

Lymphomas do respond well to Radiation therapy although chemotherapy is the mainstay of treatment for nearly all Blood cancers. The types of chemotherapy drugs used is quite varied depending on the type of blood cancer. Similarly the success of chemotherapy in controlling blood cancer varies with each type of blood cancer. Overall cure rates with first line chemotherapy range from 40% to 90%, averaging at about 65%. Patients who relapse or fail to respond well to treatment with first line chemotherapy are much harder to treat although there is some limited success with second line chemotherapy. For a majority of such patients the only chance of controlling their cancer is to use High dose chemotherapy given with the aid of Bone marrow transplantation. This procedure is technically demanding and has high costs associated with the complex and prolonged management of such patients.

Blood Stem Cell transplantation/ Bone Marrow transplantation: The mother cells from which our body makes blood are called Stem cells or Hematopoietic Stem cells. These cells typically reside in the Bone marrow from where they can be taken out and used as a component of the procedure commonly called Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT). In this procedure massive doses of chemotherapy are used to first eradicate the Cancer cells after which the stem cells are given back to the patient in order to rescue or re-establish

the normal blood formation in the bone marrow. The source of stem cells can be the patient who has the cancer provided his/her bone marrow is healthy….this procedure is called Autologous Stem cell transplantation. An alternative source of stem cells can be a healthy donor where the procedure is called Allogeneic Stem cell transplantation (Allo-Tranplant). The Donor for the Allotranplant can be a related family member or an unrelated volunteer donor provided his body tissue type matches well with the recipient’s tissue type. The procedure of BMT has been perfected over the past 50 years and has a high cure rate of about 50%. But it is also associated with considerable toxicity or risks primarily from a reaction called Graft versus Host disease (GVHD) which can be fatal. The GVHD is caused by an immunological reaction between the donor cells (graft) and the body organs of the recipient (Host). The best way to avoid the GVHD is to obtain a good tissue match between the donor and the recipient’s body cells (matched HLA types). In order to avoid rejection of the stem cell graft by the host, immunosuppression is carried out with the help of total body irradiation (TBI) before the Stem cell transplant is given to the patient as well as the use of immunosuppressive drugs give after the transplant. It takes nearly 3 months to successfully carry out the Allogeneic stem cell transplants in patients who have blood cancer which is beyond any curative treatment with the standard chemotherapy. A National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) has been set up to facilitate an adequate donor pool to meet the demands of patients with Blood cancer. The Indian American Cancer Network (IACAN) is committed to provide proper health education and to promote cancer awareness and prevention through educational seminars in the community. It also provides various services to both patients and care givers through its network of liaisons- Provide cancer information, assist in navigating available medical care, access and pool available resources, counsel on support services, address culture-specific grief, end of life/loss and bereavement issues. For more information visit www.iacannetwork.org or call 713-370-3489. To learn more about Blood Cancer please attend the Educational Outreach event on February 24 at VPSS Haveli, 11715 W Belfort Village Dr. Houston, TX 77031. Time: 1-3:30pm.

Indo American News (ISSN 887-5936) is published weekly every Friday (for a subscription of $40 per year) by IndoAmerican News Inc., 7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036, tel: 713-789-6397, fax:713-789-6399, email: indoamericannews@yahoo.com. Periodical postage paid at Houston, Texas. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Indo American News,7457 Harwin Dr., Suite 262, Houston, TX 77036

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COMMUNITY

February 08, 2013

Montessori Schools Strive to Bring Out the Child’s Personality BY MANU SHAH CLEAR LAKE: It’s a question most first time parents grapple with: a private Montessori school or a public school education for their children. On one hand, public education caters to an across-the-board student population providing more real life experiences and is paid for by tax dollars and on the other hand, there’s a system that refreshingly focuses on the child’s creativity, is hands on, self-teaching and self-correcting but comes with a hefty price tag. Sure, the founders of Amazon, Google and Wikipedia were all Montessori school products, but there are as many successful people who never went to a Montessori school. However the Montessori system of education makes a strong case for itself. In times when many parents are looking beyond regimented schooling, Montessori offers a system of learning through direct experience and active involvement - in other words, a system of “self inspired learning”. A shared sense of purpose encouraged Hersh Kumar, a gold medalist form IIT, Rourkee, India and his wife Rita, a Montessori trained teacher to start a humble one room school near downtown Houston over three decades ago. It didn’t take very long for the school to expand to the two building facility near the Texas Medical Center and within a few years, 3 more campuses at Clear Lake, Pearland and Silver Lake sprung up making the Montessori School of Downtown one of the largest private school systems in Texas. The Clearlake campus offers three programs – Infants and Toddlers (2 months - 3 year olds), a Preprimary program (3-4 years) and Kindergarten to 3rd grade. According to Director Barbara Bergeron, the school offers a multicultural environment since the staff and children come from diverse backgrounds. Apart from learning about different traditions and cultures, an added benefit comes in a greater acceptance of differences in backgrounds among children. To encourage such a mindset, an award called the “Global Citizen” is presented to one child every month for extending themselves with their peers, getting along and sharing. A typical day is filled with several activities that cover subjects like Math, English, Geography and the Sciences. After a lesson has been outlined, a child is offered a choice of two activities, thus fostering deci-

Pre primary children at the smart board (left), Toddlers building a tower from large to small.

sion making skills and voicing preferences. Reading and writing skills are hugely emphasized, (most children are already reading when they enter Kindergarten), Spanish is introduced at the age of two and a half while Smartboards and computers are introduced at age 3. The beauty of the method however lies in the fact that no child is held back waiting for others to catch up and everyone works at their own pace.

Another interesting concept the school uses is the “Peace Table”. In the event of a disagreement between children, both parties are made to sit down at this table and negotiate an acceptable solution. Teachers have found it extremely effective as the solution comes from the child itself. A common concern that parents have is the transition to a public school. According to Bergeron, public school teachers have been

heard to remark that Montessori children showed natural leadership qualities, were adept at working independently and were typically 2 years ahead of their peers. At the end of the day, it is a decision that involves some research, visits to the schools, talking to people and most importantly your child’s aptitudes, inclinations and personality. There can be no better judge of this than a parent.

Thaipoosam Celebrations at Sri Meenakshi Temple BY PONNI SIVARAMAN PEARLAND: The Tamil community of Houston celebrated Thaipoosam with pomp and grandeur on the Morning of January 26 at Sri Meenakshi Temple in Pearland. Thaipoosam is a festival celebrated in honor of Lord Muruga, to commemorate the occasion of his mother, Goddess Parvathy, giving her son the “Sakthi Vel” or the Spear to help vanquish the Asura, Soorapadman. This day is honored as a special festival at all Murugan temples in India, Malaysia, Singapore and Mauritius and where ever else Tamil Communities exist. Thaipoosam is celebrated in the Tamil month of Thai (January/February), on

the day of the star “Poosam “and around the day of the full moon or Pournami. The morning dawned splendidly as devotees gathered at the Temple site around 8:30am. The festivities began at the Ganesh Temple with a Sankalpam and Pooja for all the Pal Kudams (a pot of milk which will be offered to Lord Muruga as Abisekham, with a coconut on top and covered with a yellow ornate cloth) and Kaavadis (a semi-circular decorated canopy with a wooden rod that holds together 2 small pots of milk on either ends, also used for the Abishekam). This year there were about 108 Pal Kudams and 81 Kaavadis. The Sankalpam and Pooja was followed by a procession of the Pal Kudams and Kaavadis from the Ganesh Temple to the Kalyana Mandapam through the main Temple. Devotees attired in their finest, chanted Aroharas and recited devotional songs in praise of Lord Muruga, the entire way. Once at the Kalyana Mandapam, a grand Abishekham was performed by priests Sri

Manickasundaram Bhattar and Sri Kalyana Sundaram and the exquisite Alankaram and Aarti that followed rendered the gathering of about 500 devotees speechless. Devotees recited the Kanda Shasti Kavasam and sang other devotional songs as well. The whole ambiance was very divine. The urchava Murthi along with his consorts Deivanai and Valli were then taken out on a procession on the silver chariot or Ratham to the main sannadhi for the final aarti. Prasadams and a very sumptuous lunch was provided by the temple to all those that attended. It was indeed a very joyous day to all. This event was organized and coordinated by Meena Subramanian with the help of many many volunteers who put in countless number of hours into making this possible. This huge effort along with the many devotees’ enthusiasm made this year’s Thaipoosam celebration a great success.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 08, 2013 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

February 08, 2013

HMM Celebrates Makar Sankrant

BY ADITYA RAJE HOUSTON: Houston Maharashtra Mandal (HMM) organized ‘Makar Sankrant Anand Mela’ on January 26 at Durga Bari temple in west Houston. The event was organized to celebrate Makar Sankrant festival and marked the first event by HMM for the year 2013. The event was attended and enjoyed by around 500 people from the greater Houston area. HMM committee members greeted the guests for the event by offering Til-Gul (a

items were home-made and were thoroughly enjoyed by all the attendees. Items ranged from favorites like Ukadiche Modak to Vada Pao to Suralicha Vadya to homemade Nankatai. Also, there were stalls selling paintings, ethnic apparel and jewelry. Several games for children and couples were organized. The musical chair event for children was enjoyed by children and their parents alike. ‘Bor-Nahan’, a traditional activity for young children was also organized. The

Children’s Musical Chair and Bor-Nahan (on right)

Youth enjoying playing variety of games.

event also provided option of photographing children with traditional ‘Halawyache Dagine’. There was an air of great excitement during these events. Raffles prizes were drawn every hour. Prizes ranged from Houston-area restaurant vouchers to popular music CD sets.

sweet made of sesame seeds and jaggery). Traditional Haldi-Kunku and ‘Sankrantiche Vaan’ were given to the women as per the Maharashtrian tradition of celebrating Sankrant. In addition, every family was also given a Marathi calendar. As is the Makar Sankrant tradition in Maharashtra, most women were seen decked in their best black-colored sarees. The event involved celebration, funfair and games for children, adults and for senior citizens. The big attraction of the event was stalls selling delicious snacks. The recipes involved authentic, traditional Maharashtrian delicacies along with other mouthwatering snacks and chat items. All the food

The fun-filled evening concluded with the reciting of the National Anthems of India (as Jan 26 happens to be the Republic Day of India) and that of the USA. HMM would like to thank all the sponsors, volunteers and staff of Durga Bari whose whole hearted help and efforts greatly contributed to the success of HMM’s Makar Sankrant celebration event. HMM organizes cultural events throughout the year, such as Ganesh Festival and Diwali. HMM will be screening a show of acclaimed Marathi movie ‘Hou De Jarasa Usheer’ at AMC, Dunvale on Feb 24, 2013. For tickets and more information about HMM activities, visit www.hmmhouston. org

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COMMUNITY

FIS Participates in MLK Jr. Grande Parade

From left: Rajender Aparasu, Saureesh Aparasu, Krishna Vavilala, Surender Talwar, Raghava Solipuram, Suresh Shah, Meera Kapur (Event Chair), Michel Jones (Unity Church), Shravya Aparasu, Raghu Nednur, Anjana Solipuram, Apoorv Nednur, Pavani Solipuram, Sanjana Solipuram and Kranti Nednur.

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HOUSTON: On January 21, the Foundation of India Studies (FIS) participated in the 19th MLK Jr Grande parade in downtown, Houston for the third consecutive year. The occasion also marked the 50th Anniversary of MLK Jr.’s Civil Rights march into nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. and significantly coincided with the historic investiture of the first black president, Barack Hussein Obama who was elected for the second term. This year’s MLK parade was important because President Obama took oath of office laying his hands on the bible which belonged to MLK Jr. and started off his second term with a determination to curb gun violence which recently caused needless deaths of 20 innocent school children in Sandy Hook Elementary school, Connecticut. History has witnessed untimely deaths of two great Presidents like Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy due to gun shots and ironically similar fate was met with by MLK Jr. and his spiritual guru, Mahatma Gandhi who both preached non-violence. Parade watchers cheered and clapped, as Suresh Shah, a resident of Kingwood dressed as Mahatma Gandhi walked with the stick and folded hands offering “Namaste” with the FIS group and several children. The Mahatma Gandhi attire worn by Suresh Shah caught the attention of hundreds of spectators who thronged all along the parade route. FIS banner which depicts pictures of both Mahatma Gandhi and MLK jr., pronounc-

es that Indian community salutes both the Apostles of Peace and Non-violence. Commentators covering the event live, which was later shown in the evening broadcasts, talked about how MLK Jr. adopted Gandhi’s principles of non-violence for his civil rights movement. Several children who participated in the MLK Jr. Parade and walked under the FIS banner were surprised with the attention they received. “It was great to see that people care about Mahatma Gandhi and cheered for him on MLK day,” Shravya Aparasu (Age 9) commented. Apoorv Nednur (Age 8) wrote the following in his daily journal after the parade - “MLK Jr. was a great man; because of him we all can participate in such wonderful parades as equals.” Sanjana Solipuram (Age 7) said “It was incredible to march in a parade on such a peaceful day for Mahatma Gandhi.” The large musical bands, cheerleaders, and enchanting floats impressed the large crowds on a holiday with perfect weather. The event chair, Meera Kapur thanked the children and the volunteers for their participation. “It is essential for the Indian community to become visible in the mainstream and be recognized as Indians. This will create a lasting bondage between India and America at the grass roots level” said Krishna Vavilala, Chairman of FIS who was also instrumental for installing the Gandhi statue in Herman Park.

Announcement INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 08, 2013 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM


COMMUNITY

February 08, 2013

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Jon Huntsman to be Honored

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(2009–2011) noting his intimate understanding of the region and his fluency in Mandarin Chinese. Huntsman has called the United States-China connection “the most important relationship of the 21st century,” and at the Huffington Award Luncheon, he will be in conversation with Alan Crain, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Baker Hughes, sharing his insight on China and addressing the country’s leadership change. Following the luncheon, the governor will speak to a group of local students on the importance of service and involvement in the political process. “A champion of cultural diplomacy, Jon Huntsman embodies Asia Society’s commitment to connecting people, fostering dialogue, and advancing the U.S.Asia relationship,” said Martha Blackwelder, Executive Director of Asia Society Texas Center. “From advocating for international education and foreign language study, to promoting cross-cultural communication, the governor is a leader who has played an exemplary role in furthering international understanding throughout his career.” The Honorable Michael Huffington, son of Roy Huffington, will

Recipient of Asia Society Texas Center’s Top Distinction to Address China’s Leadership Change at First Annual Huffington Award Luncheon

present Huntsman with the award named after his father, Texas oilman and ambassador who played a leading role in the founding of Asia Society Texas Center. Former recipients of the award include President George H. W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush, James A. Baker III, Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew, Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, and Robert Mosbacher, Sr. The Honorary Host Committee includes The Honorable James A. Baker III, Neil Bush, Ronnie C. Chan, Trammell S. Crow, Henrietta Holsman Fore, The Honorable

Michael Huffington, Terry Huffington, Admiral Robert Inman, Ambassador Nicholas Platt, and Ambassador Chase Untermeyer. The Huffington Award Luncheon has been generously underwritten by ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobile Corporation, and is chaired by ConocoPhillips Chairman and CEO Ryan M. Lance. Asia Society Texas Center is part of a leading global educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context. Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, Asia Society Texas Center provides insight, generates ideas, and promotes collaboration to connect Americans and Asians for a shared future. For more information about the Asia Society Texas Center, visit www.asiasociety.org/texas

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Indo-Americans of Greater Houston Day in Austin Wednesday, February 13 Leaders representing Indo-American community organizations in the Greater Houston area (IAPAC, IACCGH, ICC and IACF) will visit the State Capitol on Wednesday, February 13 at 9am. The day will start with a visit to the House Gallery. A private lunch is being planned with a few elected officials and the members of the group.

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India House Houston Gala Saturday, February 23, 2013 7:00pm to 11:00pm Hilton Post Oak Galleria 2001 Post Oak Blvd., Houston Texas 77056 Gala Chairpersons: Mr. Paul and Mrs. Stephanie Madan Keynote Speaker: Judge Ed Emmett, Harris County Contact India House to sponsor the Gala Event: email: yolanda@indiahouseinc.org Phone: 713-929-1905 Fax: 713-772-9015 Sponsor India House Today Sponsors Attendees Platinum $50,000—2 VIP center tables Couples $500—Seating for Two Palladium $25,000—1 VIP center table Individual $275—Seating for One Benefactor $10,000—1 VIP center table Grand Patron $5,000— 1 Full Table Patron $2,500—VIP Seating for Four Sponsor $1,000— VIP Seating for Two Platinum Level Brij and Sunita Agrawal Jugal and Raj Malani Durga and Sushila Agrawal Virendra and Nalini Mathur Bal and Rita Sareen Chowdary and Angela Yalamanchili

Benefactor Level Paul and Stephanie Madan Suresh and Chrisha Agrawal Amit and Arpita Bhandari Grand Patron Kul Bhushan and Suman Uppal Jasbir and Luz Dhindsa Naresh and Madhu Mittal Jiten and Shalu Agarwal Nagraj and Shelia Eleswarpu

Patron Level Hari and Poonam Kewalramani Ashok and Mohini Bhambani Lachhman and Lalita Das Sponsor Level Vishnu and Kanta Gupta

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COMMUNITY

February 08, 2013

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Republic Day Celebration at Indo American Center in Chicago

Assistant Property Manager & Leasing Agents BY NAND KAPUR IAN CHICAGO CORRESPONDENT CHICAGO: Indo American Center (IAC), a non profit organization serving the immigrant community in Chicago celebrated the Indian Republic Day on Thursday Jan 24 with lot of enthusiasm and fan fare. More than 170 guests and seniors attended the program that was elegantly emceed by Jashan Chhatlani. The program began with the singing of National Anthem ( Jan Gan Man ) by seniors followed by speeches eulogizing the importance and significance of

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India becoming Republic. The speakers include Naresh Shah, Prbir Sen, Qudari Mohammad, Kirit Shah, Hamid Syed,Chimanlal Thakkor and Manganbhai Patel. Patriotic Bollywood songs rendered by local artists were quite enthralling.

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COMMUNITY

George R. Willy P.c. is Now Willy, Nanayakkara, Rivera & Goins SUGAR LAND: George R. Willy P.C. is now Willy, Nanayakkara, Rivera & Goins. Founder and Principal Attorney George R. Willy recently added the names of his fellow attorneys to the firm name, and is also announcing an expansion in the areas of law that the firm practices. “In addition to the immigration law that the firm has practiced for over 25 years, the others lawyers and I will also be taking on family law cases, employment cases and select criminal cases,” Willy stated when discussing the change. He added, “I am proud to have my name along with the other lawyers’ names as we take the firm in an exciting new direction.” Willy founded the law firm over 26 years ago. As an immigrant himself, nearly thirty-five years ago, he has never forgotten the uncertainty and the difficulties of the process. His personal mission is to make immigration equitable for everyone. He has a reputation for solving complex legal issues with creative solutions drawn from his early exposure to a variety of disciplines. Willy received his undergraduate degree from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada and his Juris Doctorate from South Texas College of Law in Houston. He has been a leader in the local business community for many years, serving in leadership roles in numerous organizations, and has been asked to offer his advice to the Governor of Texas, the Clinton Administration and the current Obama Administration. He remains engaged in the peace process in Sri-Lanka, his country of origin. Chiranjaya “Chiro” Nanayakkara has more than thirteen years of experience in U.S. Immigration and Nationality law. Prior to passing the Bar Exam, he has worked as a Paralegal, International Trade

Consultant and Legal Manager for two U.S. immigration law firms and business organizations. He has considerable experience in business and family immigration matters. He is also a strong advocate of children’s rights. Nanayakkara was instrumental in raising $35,000 within a four month period for children who were caught in a political civil conflict in Sri Lanka in 2009. Being an immigrant himself, Nanayakkara understands the obstacles faced by immigrants who are seeking a better life for themselves and their family. Originally from El Paso, Texas, Javier Rivera was raised in Houston, graduating from St. Pius X High School in North Houston before attending Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, Texas, where he majored in both Sociology and History. After spending two years as a social worker for the Alief School District, Rivera attended Florida Coastal School of Law, where he earned his law degree. During his last semester of law school, he served as a legal clinician for the Office of the Attorney General of the Bahamas in Nassau. Following completion of his law degree, Rivera attended the University of Houston and graduated with a Legal Masters in International Law. Prior to joining Willy’s firm, Rivera has worked for several years in immigration law firms in both Houston and San Antonio, practicing in the areas of removal defense and employment-based immigration.

Randy Goins was born and raised in Texas and is part of the firm’s litigation division. Prior to joining the firm, he was an Associate Attorney of a family law firm in Houston. Before pursuing his legal career, Goins worked as a copy editor at the Victoria Advocate in Victoria, Texas. His hometown garnered international headlines following the discovery of nineteen dead immigrants, abandoned at a truck stop inside a sweltering trailer. Part of his newspaper tenure involved coverage of that tragedy, the deadliest human trafficking case in the nation’s history, and resulted in his desire to help future potential citizens avoid a similar fate through legal assistance. Willy, Nanayakkara, Rivera & Goins will host an Open House at the Sugar Land office on Thursday, February 28 from 6:30–9pm to launch the firm under the new name and to give clients an opportunity to meet the lawyers. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to immigration@grwpc.com. Willy, Nanayakkara, Rivera & Goins is a full-service immigration law firm with over 25 years of experience in every aspect of business immigration, familybased immigration and immigration-related litigation. They also practice family law, employment law and select criminal law cases. The firm is based in Sugar Land, TX with an office in Atlanta, Georgia, an office in Ahmedabad, India and a relationship with a prestigious law firm in Canada.

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February 08, 2013

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Ashirwad Vedic Fair Mission: Empower the Young, Inform the Mainstream

KATY: The Second Ashirwad Vedic Fair will be held on Saturday Feb. 23, 2013 from 4-10pm at Cinco Ranch High School in Katy. A free event for all, where the visitors can view heritage presentations on Hindu gods, spiritual leaders, philosophy, sports, and festivals, and traditions, including inter-faith observances. Heritage presentations will be a part of competition in three age categories: below 10, above 10 and adults. In each category, winner will take home $350 and runner up $150. Each presenter will receive a gift for participating. Other highlights of the fair include Visa to Vaikunt, Vedic Walk with Mahabharat theme, “Arjun – The Chosen”, a play by Geetha Ravula and dance away in neon raas with a live band. Ashirvad A Blessing is a parochial school run by Geetha Ravula to convey Hindu spiritual values to young children in the greater Houston community. Ashirvad classes are held in Katy, Cypress and Sugar Land on weekends for children aged four and above. While the Vedic Fair is open to all, a large number of participants are expected to be students and parents of Ashirvad students. Ten year old Srujana Dunnara, who presented “Famous Indian scientists and their discoveries” shared her first Vedic Fair experi-

ence in her own words. She said, “I have been going to Ashirwad for 3 years now. My love for science and India made me think about the discoveries in the field of science by Indian Scientists, that’s why I chose “The Famous Indian scientists and their discoveries”. In fact, several inventions and discoveries believed to have been originated from the Western world, have been studied many centuries earlier by our ancestors. Famous ancient Indian astronomer, Aryabhata (476 - 500 BC) defined the shape of the earth, the movement of the Earth around the Sun and he pointed out the importance of zero. Sushruta (600 B.C) is known as “The Father of Plastic Surgery and the science of anesthesia”. Acharya Kanada (600 B.C) was a genius philosopher and is known as “The Father of the Atomic Theory”. Acharya Charaka’s (600 B.C) work titled “Charaka Samhita” is considered an encyclopedia of Ayurveda and is considered “The Father of Medicine”. Acharya Bharadwaja (800 B.C) was the pioneer in aviation technology. His discoveries in aerospace science and flying machines like one that flies on the earth from one place to another, the other travels from one planet to another, and another that travels from one universe to another. Bhaskaracharya (1114 - 1183 B.C) was a great discoverer, also

Geetha Ravula’s passion for the Vedic Fair was on display during her media presentation last Thursday at Udipi Cafe.

a mathematician and astronomer, known for his findings on planetary positions and occurrences of eclipses and cosmography. Varahamihira (499 - 587 B.C) was a renowned astrologer and astronomer, and has revealed discoveries in the domain of geography, constellations, botany, and animal science.” “Even though I might have had a rough week at school, I always look forward to Saturday morning that is when I go to Ashirwad. Our chief teacher, Geetha Ravula always teaches us something new each week such as how we can make ourselves and the society better, limbs of yoga, way of life, and how souls travel from one body to another, most importantly self-realization and the

way she teaches feels like I want to stay there forever. Our teacher always inspires us to do our best, in Ashirwad and at school. She encourages us to learn more no matter what subject, and because of this encouragement and inspiration, I had participated in first Vedic fair 2012 held on Saturday Feb. 11, 2012.” “The First Vedic Fair gave me a bird’s eye view on various aspects of India such as civilization, significance of festivals, culture, mythology, famous people in Indian history and their contributions to the society. This awakened an interest in me to explore and learn more about these various topics. I think this event helps kids from our generation to learn more about our culture, heritage, and contri-

butions to the world.” One of the presenters at Vedic Fair 2012, Rithika Ravishankar (12 yrs. old) presented the Vishnu Sahasra Nama Stotram sloka “Bhoopadhau Yasya Nabhir”. This sloka was recited by Bheeshma to Yudhishtira in the Anushaasana Parva in the Mahabharata. This sloka was about Vishnu’s appearance and what each of his celestial items symbolized. For example, the sloka states, “…Sun and the Moon are His eyes. Directions are His ears, and the Heaven is His head.” She said, “I made a model of Vishnu with all the symbolism as the sloka had stated. During this presentation, I learned about Vishnu’s various appearances and symbolism. Rithika said, “The Vedic Fair is very important because in this generation, not many people know about our Indian culture and traditions and it is important to know about our culture. I think people should encourage these kinds of opportunities that we get. I benefitted a lot from the Vedic Fair. I learned a lot about different aspects of Hinduism. I also had the experience of presenting in front of an audience, which helped me a lot in school presentations and others, too. I really enjoyed the Vedic Fair because I got to learn about my culture.” For more information, visit ashrwadablessing.org.

INDO AMERICAN NEWS • FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 08, 2013 • ONLINE EDITION: WWW.INDOAMERICAN-NEWS.COM

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Breakfast Yoga Club Houston Holds its First Session at Arya Samaj HOUSTON: “Anybody can serve... all you need is a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr. A hall full of yogis congregated at the Arya Samaj Greater Houston Center on Saturday, January 19, morning for a free two hour class of Yoga to the community. In observance of the National Day of Service, the Arya Samaj Greater Houston collaborated with Houston Breakfast Yoga Club for this session. Serving the community and offering Sewa with a heart full of love is one of the main objectives of the Houston Breakfast Yoga Club. These objectives align with those of the Arya Samaj, whose motto is to make the world noble. The session began with an opening gratitude speech focused on Sewa, by Jennifer Plessner, a BYC ambassador, followed by an eruption of great laughter, as a means of “letting go” of stress and negativity, and inviting positivity and relaxation to the mind almost instantly. The practice commenced with experienced yoga teachers of the Houston area, who took the students through a full series of various “Asanas” supported and guided by volunteers to help facilitate the mind body connection. During savasana, the yogis relaxed to an enlightened state accompanied by the melodious tune of Lo-

kah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu, played by Jeff Newton on the harmonium. The practice ended with a full guided “Pranayama” and a brief meditation practice. The Breakfast Yoga Club is a grassroots organization sustained entirely by volunteers, with its mission to unite the yoga community by offering donation based yoga that honors all traditions of yoga. The BYC is yoga without borders and is not affiliated with any particular studio. BYC creates monthly yoga events at different locations around Houston by inviting a variety of teachers from different styles to participate in teaching a round robin style practice. This month, the featured teachers were: Sangeeta Barwey, Dana Nicole Sweet, Mia Shikapwashya and Shekhar Agrawal.

For more information regarding the next BYC event, visit http:// www.breakfastyogaclubhouston. com/index.html Each month BYC features a local charity to raise awareness and support with the intention of inspiring seva and cultivating activism in our community. This month’s featured charity was Young Texans Against Cancer (http://ytac.org) Arya Samaj Greater Houston, founded in 1991, aligned itself with the great mission and has been serving the children, youth

and adults in the Greater Houston area with the spiritual and cultural enrichment by spreading the knowledge ofVedas. Arya Samaj offers various opportunities for vedic knowledge in the form of weekly havan and satsang which includes acharyaji’s enlightening pravachans and melodious bhajans. DAV Sanskriti School held on Sundays introduces vedic values in the school age students, DAV Montessori school held on weekdays imparts Vedic values at the beginning of education and

Arya Yuvak Mandal engages in cultural networking. Seva and Shraddha programs, adult education classes, seminars on a variety of topics including Yoga, Meditation, Scriptures and Healthy living and free yoga classes on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 to 9:30am are highlights of the activities Arya Samaj is involved in reaching out to the community. For more information, visit www. aryasamajhouston.org

The Long Awaited Commencement of Sri GuruvayurappanTemple Sreekovil Construction Celebrated BY CHITTOOR RAMACHANDRAN

HOUSTON: The three-day ceremonies and commencement celebration held last weekend marks the beginning of an ambitious program that will add to the history of Hindus living in Greater Houston area. The Temple dedicated to Sri Guruvayurappan (Sri Krishna) that is being built will Learn Bharat Natyam Classical dance, Bollywood dance from well have unique architectural features experienced Guru DIPTI DAVE teaching in CLEARLAKE area since 1990. so far unfamiliar to Houston. As a matter of fact, this temple will Also learn Gujarati and Hindi language in unparallel homely atmosphere have the credit for adapting the concept of temple structure that is Swar Maalika for Weddings, gatherings, religious events practiced predominantly in Kerala (Vasthu Shastra) for the first time *Bollywood Songs, Garba/Raas, Bhajans, in the Western world. The plan Ghazals, Bhangra, LAGNA Geet* is to build a replica of the ancient *Get Quality music by: Hemant Dave, Omkar Dave, Dipti Dave and Guruvayurappan Temple, Kerala. ) world renowned Vasthu Shas- Houston. The artisans who created sign, oversee and coordinate all team* (family) of singer/actor and sa re ga ma pa fame Mauli Dave) The tra expert Sri Kanipayyur Krish- them now on a visit towith... Hous- the technical aspects of the buildthe world theinworld comfort inarecomfort with... ) and Tabla ExploreExplore Also learn Singing nan Nambuthiripad is the chief ton to put this together. Sri. Ashok ing process. ) "#$%&'$%(&) #,&#$-.'/#(&)0#()'$$)1'2#() comfort with... The formal rituals associated architect of this project. Under his Mungara (architect from Houston) ) ) "#$%&'$%(&)direction, #,&#$-.'/#(&)0#()'$$)1'2#() many pieces of granite and Sri C.V. Surendran (structural with the commencement were ) CONTINUED ON PAGE 15 Contact: Dipti) Dave, (281) 461-4870, davehemant@hotmail.com carvings were made and brought to engineer from Lubbock, TX) de'-($-,%& the ) ) Explore world in comfort with... )

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February 08, 2013

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Sreekovil Construction at Sri GuruvayurappanTemple

CONTINUED FROM PAGE

14

done during February 1, 2 and 3. Thanthri Brahmasri Kariannur Divakaran Nambuthiri formally granted the permission after a pooja to the granite artisans (shilpies) at the auspicious moment at 9:49am on February 2, 2013, Several hundreds of devotees standing and witnessing the ceremony jointly chanted “ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare; Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare’. It was an emotional moment for the people who were present. According to the plan, Padukam is first portion that will be built; this is what will become the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. The ceremonies began with Ganapathi homam that was performed before sunrise (It is a tradition that is practiced in this temple every morning). Thanthri Brahmasri Divakaran Nambuthiri performed Maha Mrithyunjaya Homam for the welfare of the community. The tented area was packed

with devotees witnessing homam ( havan) with devoted mind chanting the panchakshari mantram (Nama Shivaya). Upadavathas of this temple were also worshipped in this event. Bhagavathi ( Durga) was extolled with Bhagavathi seva ( this pooja is conducted only after sunset) was performed for gaining the blessings of Mata Durga Parameswari (Shakthi) for the power to undertake this tremendous task . Sri Ayyappan was worshipped as a vilakku puja as instructed by the Thanthri. An elaborate ritual ( kalashabhishekam) to sanctify the temple premises was also conducted during the three days. During the religious discourse, Thanthri Divakaran Nambuthiri emphasized that all devotees should join hands with a firm determination to take this project to a success with a firm faith in Hindu Dharma. He encouraged the volunteers to boldly move forward with trust in Divine blessings which will melt away any hindrance in this jour-T:10” ney.

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16 February 08, 2013

COMMUNITY

CNN’s Sanjay Gupta Adds Fiction to His Workload LOS ANGELES (AP): When doctors get called on the carpet by other doctors, it’s productive but not always pretty, as neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta describes it. Closed-door meetings in which physicians candidly dissect cases that went awry can verge on “dignified versions of street fights,� said CNN’s globe-trotting correspondent. He drew on such sessions — commonplace for hospitals, if little publicly known — for his first novel, “Monday Mornings,� and is a writer-producer on a new TNT series based on the 2012 book. The drama, from veteran producer David E. Kelley (“Boston Legal,� ‘’The Practice�) and with a heavyweight cast that includes Ving Rhames, Alfred Molina and Bill Irwin, debuts Monday (10 p.m. EST). That’s also the day the show’s fictional Chelsea General Hospital holds its weekly reviews. In the real world, such meetings to scrutinize complications and mistakes in patient care can lead to new guidelines, Gupta said. “They can be simple, like never sedate a patient until they’re strapped in on the table,� he said, the outcome of an unrestrained patient having taken a tumble. “Some changes are big, some are small, but they are always important. We are always redefining medicine.� In the first episode of “Monday Mornings,� brash but dedicated neurosurgeon Dr. Tyler Wilson (Jamie Bamber, “Battlestar Galactica�) is grilled for failing to check a patient’s medical history. Gupta said he learned his own “searing� lesson, about carefully reviewing lab results, without any

“ER,� TV’s once-reigning hospital drama, aired a powerful first-season episode in which decisions by Dr. Mark Greene, the caring, steady lead character played by Anthony Edwards, cost a pregnant woman her life. The story line was a rarity on the show that routinely focused on medical heroics. The key to making the TNT series work is the “likability� of its physicians, said Bill D’Elia, a producer on “MonVing Rhames portraying Dr. Jorge Villanueva, left, day Mornings.� and Executive Producer Dr. Sanjay Gupta on the set of “Monday Mornings,� a medical drama premiered It’s crucial to “understand Monday, Feb. 4, 2013 at 10pm on TNT. Photo: TNT their motivation, understand harm to the patient. how good they are, how much they care. So Do the forums ever become a stage for of- it’s not black-and-white� when a character fice politics? blows it, D’Elia said. “People do jockey for position in these As is the case with non-TV doctors, Gupsituations,� Gupta replied. “If someone’s ta said. A mistake is made and “you think at the lectern (under scrutiny), anyone can that’s a bad doctor. You may even think ask questions, not just the chairperson of the that’s a bad human being, and in some cases department. So the nature and tone of it can you might be right,� he said. “But a lot of change pretty quickly.� times you’re not, and I think showing the The most disturbing inquiries involve an rest of the story, how it may continue to get apparently reckless M.D. with “a disregard discussed� is illuminating. for the person on the operating table or in Besides writing for “Monday Mornings,� the hospital,� he said. “You can imagine Gupta, 43, makes sure it depicts surgery and your own mother or loved in the position of the world of medicine accurately. the patient, and those are the most indelible How Gupta fits the tasks into his already ones of all.� demanding schedule is a medical mystery. The meetings make for gripping drama As D’Elia said, he never knows if he’s talkon “Monday Mornings.� But is a show that ing to the doctor in Atlanta, where Gupta focuses on medicine’s failures as well as its lives with his family and practices, or in triumphs potentially a hard sell for audi- another city, sometimes far-flung, as part of ences? his award-winning work for CNN (which,

like TNT, is part of Time Warner subsidiary Turner). “When I talk to him I have this (mental) picture of him in front of a green screen so he can input wherever he is,� D’Elia said. “He’s as likely to be in Pakistan as New York.� Since joining CNN in 2001, Gupta has covered events including the quake and tsunami in Japan, Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster. In 2003, while embedded with a Navy medical unit, he reported from Iraq and Kuwait and acted as a doctor as well as a reporter, performing brain surgeries in a desert operating room. That same year, he got a spot on People magazine’s list of the “sexiest men alive.� He anchors the weekend medical affairs program, “Sanjay Gupta MD,� is on the staff and faculty at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, and is an associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital. In 2009, he was approached for the position of surgeon general in the new Obama administration, a post he says he declined because it would have halted his work as a neurosurgeon. He’s said he’s a supporter of the Affordable Care Act and wants to see it fully implemented to give more Americans coverage. Gupta learned his work ethic from his parents, who moved from India in the 1960s to work at a Ford plant in Detroit, where he grew up, and is surprised when people ask how he does it all. “There’s a lot of people who work a lot harder than I do and aren’t known,� he said.

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ARTS & CULTURE

February 08, 2013

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Om Agni Meere Purohitam: First Known Recording on Gramophone

BY KRISHAN GUPTA Om Agni meere purohitam yajñasya devamritvījam hotāram ratnadhātamam || Rig Veda. 1.001.01 “Oh Agni: You who gleam in the darkness, to you we come day by day, with devotion and bearing homage. So be of easy access to us, Agni, as a father to his son, abide with us for our well being.” HMV had once published a pamphlet giving the history of gramophone record, invented by Thomas Alva Edison in the 19th century. The gramophone record could record human voice for posterity. He chose Prof. Max Muller an eminent scholar of England to record the voice on his first piece. He wrote him a letter saying, when should I come to record your voice. Max Muller asked Thomas Edison to come on a suitable time when most of the European scholars would be gathering in England. Thomas Edison took a ship to meet Max Mueller in England. There he was introduced to the audience, and all cheered Edison’s presence. Later at the request of Edison, Max Muller came on the stage and spoke in front of the instrument. Then Edison went back to his laboratory and by afternoon came back with a disc. He played the gramophone disc from his instrument. The audience was thrilled to hear the voice of Max Muller from the instrument. They were glad that voices of great persons like Max Muller could be stored for the benefit

of posterity. After several rounds of applause and congratulations to Thomas Edison, Max Muller came to the stage and addressed the scholars and asked them, “You heard my original voice in the morning. Then you heard the same voice coming out from this instrument in the afternoon. Did you understand what I said in the morning or what you heard this afternoon?” The audience fell silent because they could not understand the language in which Max Muller had spoken. It was ‘Greek and Latin’ to them as they never heard this language before. Max Muller then explained that he spoke the first shloka of Rig Veda in Sanskrit, which says “Agni Meere Purohitam.” This was the first recorded public version on the gramophone plate. And “Vedas are the oldest text of the human race, and Agni Meele Purohitam is the first verse of Rig Veda. In the most primordial time, when the people did not know how even to cover their bodies and lived by hunting and housed in caves. Indians had attained the highest civilization and they gave the world universal philosophies in the form of the Vedas.” There was pin-

the symbol of Parmatma, and all the other gods are different aspects or manifestations of Agni. Agni is the fire principle that shines in the sun and is the energy that illumines and charges the universe. He is the one who carries our offerings to other gods. He is the enjoyer, devour (sarva baksha), digester, heat, lust and passion. He spreads, takes over and rules. Agni is the fire of life,

the subtle energy in all beings and the fire of inner awakening. He is the friend of man and mediates on our behalf. He is the symbol of life, wisdom, knowledge, compassion and lordship. We are proud to say that this is our sanskriti and culture and let us indulge to understand and teach our children so that our great culture never faded away and shine throughout the world.

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to from 3.30pm to 4.30pm drop silence in the huge hall as none of the scholars had understood until it was revealed to them that he had spoken in the highly ancient scientific language of Sanskrit. When “Agni Meere Purohitam” was replayed the entire audience stood up in silence as a mark of respect for the ancient Hindu sages, this time there were no claps, there was only a mark of respect. Please see the web site: http. library.thinkquest.org/05aug/00622/ fire/fire.html for more detail. According to Max Muller, Vedas are the oldest texts of the human race, and he appreciates the antiquity of the Vedas. Agni has a special position among the Vedic gods also is

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EDITORIAL

February 08, 2013

Passion for Action

There are two types of people in the world. Psychologists have captured a bit of this contrast with their identification of the A and B personalities. (A Google search reveals that this categorization has become even more complex with up to S type personalities!) Most of us, fortunately, are the Type Bs, the silent majority. We keep the beaten path, listen to our parents, get a traditional education, marry spouses our parents like, raise children like us and then retire and die, having played a useful role in perpetuating our gene pool. Then there are the Type As. Their psychological makeup creates in them a passion for action. It is these people who founded religions, discovered new continents, invented fantastic material conveniences and are leading business entities. These are the Gautam Buddhas, Christopher Columbuses, Thomas Edisons and Steve Jobs(es?). The passion for action can be destructive as well. The same drive created Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden. On this basis, there are many people in our Indian community, who have become agents of worthy missions. One is Geetha Ravula, whose passion for promulgating our values and traditions to the young generations and the mainstream community has led her to form the Ashirwad A Blessing schools and the upcoming Vedic Fair. The other is a friend who has a love for forming organizations for worthy charitable and educational causes. After a successful business career, he has dedicated his life to passing on his knowledge on the fine art of survival and sustenance in the American corporate and societal circles. His passion for history and culture has also led him for form educational seminars for friends and associates. It is a pleasure to support such passionate individuals and enjoy the fruits of their labor. Pramod Kulkarni

Taking Eye Off the Ball

The next Lok Sabha election could happen as early as September, if Mulayam Singh Yadav is to be believed. Yet, this overwhelming imperative of getting him to the prime minister’s office may well be taking a toll: it has become one of the reasons to keep the SP distracted and ineffective in power in Uttar Pradesh. In April 2012, the Samajwadi Party won the state by a majority, only the second time in nearly two decades that a single party has formed the government in UP. Great hopes rested on the new government, therefore, which was headed by a young and sincere-seeming Akhilesh Yadav.By all accounts, that opportunity is being steadily squandered. Rather than strengthening economic fundamentals, the state government spends its resources on freebie schemes designed to appeal to every slender interest group — some of these were pledged in its extravagant election manifesto. Indian Express

Does India Have a Liberal DNA? BY PRATAP BHANU MEHTA Indian liberalism is an embattled species. The right abuses it by confusingly hyphenating it in the phrase “left-liberal.” The left abuses it with the derogatory phrase “neoliberal”, associated with the privileges of the rich. And centrist parties are confused about its meaning. Few in India call themselves liberal. On this Republic Day, it is worth asking whether India’s DNA, to use Rahul Gandhi’s phrase, can mutate into something more liberal than its current hijacking by the Congress allows. Liberalism has a complex provenance and history. More than an ideology or a set of prescriptions, it is a sensibility: a set of presumptions about the treatment of individuals and the nature of power. Do we have this sensibility? First, liberalism places the freedom of individuals, their presumptive equality and claim to be treated with dignity at the centre of attention. India has made considerable progress in creating space for the de jure recognition of individual rights. But our political culture far too often immobilises the claims of individual freedom in the face of community identity or group coercion, putting at risk assorted values, from freedom of expression to gender equality. The Congress party has promulgated the idea that India is a federation of communities and the task of politics is to keep a balance between them. This idea can have deeply illiberal consequences. It traps individuals in the tyranny of compulsory identities. It readily mobilises state power against individuals in the name of community sentiment. Diversity should be an outcome of individuals freely exercising choices. The Congress cares for diversity but not freedom. The right cares for neither diversity nor freedom. Second, liberalism has a presumptive faith in citizens. The Indian state has acquired inordinate powers over citizens by setting itself up as the vanguard of society. The state is often needed to secure justice and reform society. But, cutting across party lines, there is a more insidious idolisation of the state that is legitimised by a pervasive distrust of citizens. The state knows better than the citizens;

Liberalism has a complex provenance and history. More than an ideology or a set of prescriptions, it is a sensibility: a set of presumptions about the treatment of individuals and the nature of power. Do we have this sensibility?

citizens cannot be trusted to make choices. And perhaps more damagingly, this distrust of citizens is licence to micromanage them. The state is all virtue, society all vice, so society needs superintendence. This construction of the citizen as incapable and untrustworthy is deeply entrenched in administrative practice. Third, liberalism distrusts concentrations of power, wherever they are found. Nothing has damaged Indian liberalism more than the idea the left has propagated, that Indian liberalism simply replaces the power of the state with the power of the large Corporations. But temperamentally, a genuine liberalism has been as suspicious of the monopolies and inordinate influence of private actors as it is of state power. Fourth, liberals are not radical democrats. But they recognise that participation is necessary to secure rights, foster a sense of citizenship, prevent power from becoming remote, and for producing decisions that are legitimate. For this reason they are committed to forms of selfgovernment where possible. Fifth, liberals’ presumption is towards well-regulated markets. But the state has an important role in protecting the vulnerable and enhancing the capabilities of citizens. But the test of such an intervention is whether it enhances the citizen’s ability to participate in the economy, society and

politics, not whether it keeps them tethered to a debilitating dependence. Unlike the right, liberals care about equality, because inequality can have corroding civic consequences and militate against fairness. Unlike the left, they do not believe that a simple measure of equality is all there is to an economic system. Sixth, liberals have a more complex view of the “tradition” question. The left positioned itself in the vanguard of progressivism by a wholescale delegitimising of everything past; secularism for it was not so much a political ideal as a weapon of cultural assault. The centre and the Congress were interested in culture only in so far as it was aligned with identity. And the right was interested in assimilating culture into a stultifying uniformity. Seventh, liberals recognise the horrifying social inequalities perpetuated by caste. And they recognise that many of these, particularly in the case of Dalits, will need to be taken into account to build a society that is fair and inclusive. But unlike all political parties, they want forms of affirmative action that do not trap individuals in their identities, that do not reduce complex questions of discrimination to an indiscriminate formula of power sharing. Finally, liberals have two dispositions as a matter of moral psychology. They take on board a complex view of historical causality, where there are more shades of grey, unintended consequences, strange juxtapositions than the narratives of the left or the right allow. Second, they do not reduce everything to either the question of power or the identity question, as in the case of the right. This list is incomplete and abstract. But most mistakes in practical politics have their origin in confusion over abstract ideas. Is this kind of liberalism possible in India? Our politics might make you despondent about its prospects. But perhaps here, as elsewhere, our politics is out of touch with what is struggling to emerge from below. Let the Liberal Republic emerge. The writer, president of the Centre for Policy Research, is contributing editor, ‘The Indian Express’ express@expressindia.com

Indo American News FOUNDER: DR. K.L. SINDWANI PUBLISHER: JAWAHAR MALHOTRA EDITOR: PRAMOD KULKARNI MANAGING EDITOR: MANASI GOKHALE ADVERTISING & ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER: VANSHIKA VIPIN CORRESPONDENTS HOUSTON: MANU SHAH, CHETNA SAMAL CHICAGO: NAND KAPOOR, INDIA: RAJ KANWAR ®All rights reserved. No material herein or portions thereof may be published without the written consent of the publisher. The deadline for advertising and articles is 5 pm on Monday of each week. Please include self-addressed, stamped envelope for return of all unsolicited material. Published at 7457 Harwin Drive, Suite 262, Houston, Texas 77036. Tel: 713-789-NEWS or 6397 Fax: 713-789-6399, email: indoamericannews@yahoo.com, website: indoamerican-news.com

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Mama’s Punjabi Recipes Subzi Pulao (VEGETABLE PILAF)

Chawal (rice) are a basic ingredient in many Indian cuisines, irrespective of which part of the country you come from. But for special occasions like weddings, rice is usually prepared as a pulao (pilaf), which can include vegetables or various meats. Biryani is another rice dish similar to pulao, but introduced to India by the Mughals. Pulao is a method of cooking adopted from the Persians. Pulao is a dish in which rice is cooked in a seasoned broth. In some cases, the rice may become brown depending on the use of onions, a mix of spices and meat or vegetables, depending on the local cuisine. A variation of it can be found in the Middle East, Central and South Asia, East Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Among Punjabis, pulao is usually cooked at special occasions, but it does not have to be complicated to make. I have seen, though, that many people do not know how to make this dish easily, without much effort, so I hope this recipe will help them. For best results, use the aromatic Basmati rice. Ingredients: 2 cups chawal (rice). 1/2 cup matter (peas) 1/2 cup phul gobi (cauliflower) 1/2 cup aloo (potatoes) 1/2 cup gajjar (carrots) 1 large pyaaz (onion) 2 tbsp olive oil or any other oil you prefer 1/2 tsp jeera (cumin) (can be omitted, if desired) 2 illachi (cardamom) 1 stick daal chini (cinnamon) 4 loong (cloves) 4.5 cups pani (water) Namak (salt) to taste

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Directions: • Soak the rice for 10 minutes in cold water. • Peel the onion and cut into thin slices. Wash the vegetables and cut them into medium pieces. • Heat the oil in a medium sized pot and place the onion and cumin in it, stirring till they are slightly brown. Add the vegetables, add ½ cup water

Cumin

Cardamom

Cinnamon

Cloves

and stir till slightly brown.(If you use frozen vegetables, then there’s no need to add the water). • Add 4 cups of water and let the mixture come to a boil, stirring occasionally. Drain the rice; crack opens the cardamom, break the cinnamon into four pieces and throw these in along with the cloves. Add salt to taste. • When the water has boiled again, turn the heat down to simmer, cover the pot and let it cook for 15 minutes. Check if the rice is cooked and that it isn’t sticking to the bottom. When done, turn the heat off, keep the cover on and let the rice stand 10 minutes. Serve warm with other dishes.

Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the old-fashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur, India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her mid-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable recipes.

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HEALTH

February 08, 2013

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New TB Vaccine Doesn’t Protect Infants: Study LONDON (The Hindu): The world’s most advanced tuberculosis vaccine failed to protect babies against the infectious disease, according to a new study in South Africa. The vaccine, MVA85A, was designed to improve protection from the only existing tuberculosis vaccine, BCG, which is routinely given to newborns. Though the new vaccine appeared safe, scientists found no proof it prevented tuberculosis, an airborne disease that kills more than 1 million people worldwide every year. Previous tests of the vaccine in adults had been promising and researchers said the trial provided useful data to inform future studies. There are a dozen other TB vaccines currently being tested. Some health officials were discouraged by the results. “It’s pretty disappointing,” said Dr. Jennifer Cohn, a medical coordinator at Doctors Without Borders, who was not part of the study. “Infants are at really high risk of TB but this doesn’t seem to offer them any protection.” MVA85Awas developed at Oxford University and was tested in nearly 2,800 infants in South Africa who had already been given a BCG shot, between 2009 and 2011. About half of the babies got the new vaccine while the other half got a placebo. They were followed for up to three

that the vaccine could potentially protect adolescents or adults against TB since their immune systems work differently from those of infants. The shot is also currently being tested in people with HIV. “If this vaccine is effective in adults, that would This 2006 image provided by the be hugely valuable beJanice Carr of the CDC shows the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) bacteria cause the majority of in a high magnification scanning electron TB disease and deaths micrograph (SEM) image. are among adults,” said Richard White, an inyears. In the group that got the vaccine, there were 32 cases of TB, fectious diseases expert at the Lonversus 39 cases in the group that got don School of Hygiene and Tropical a placebo. The vaccine’s efficacy rate Medicine. “But no one knows the answer to that right now.” was about 17 per cent. “A vaccine is likely to be a cost— No serious side effects related to the effective way of preventing TB,” he vaccine were reported. The study was paid for by Aeras, said, comparing the $650 million that the Wellcome Trust and the Oxford— has been invested into vaccine deEmergent Tuberculosis Consortium. velopment in the past decade versus The results were published online the more than $4 billion it currently costs to control the disease every Monday in the journal Lancet. “There is much that we and others year, according to the World Health can learn from the study and the data it Organization. White also warned the world has produced,” said Helen McShane of the University of Oxford, one of couldn’t afford to ignore the spike the study authors, in a statement. She in TB and its drug—resistant forms. and colleagues are further analyzing “There are certain boroughs of Lonthe samples from the trial to better don that have higher rates of TB than understand how humans become parts of Malawi,” he said. “TB is such a big problem that we really need to infected with TB bacteria. McShane and her co-authors wrote throw the book at it.”

Novartis Drug Exjade® First Treatment Approved by FDA

Pivotal placebo-controlled study data show Exjade significantly decreases iron burden in non-transfusion-dependent thalassemia patients

EAST HANOVER, NJ: Novartis announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Exjade® (deferasirox) for the treatment of chronic iron overload in patients 10 years of age and older with non-transfusion-dependent thalassemia (NTDT) syndromes and with a liver iron concentration of at least 5 mg of iron per gram dry weight and a serum ferritin measurement greater than 300 micrograms per liter. Exjade is the first treatment indicated for patients with these types of thalassemia in the United States. The approval is based on results from the first prospective placebocontrolled study of iron chelation in NTDT patients, THALASSA, which showed a significant dose-dependent decrease in iron burden compared to placebo (p<0.001)1. In this pivotal study, Exjade significantly reduced the concentration of iron in the liver, known as liver iron concentration (LIC), as well as the amount of iron anywhere in the body, measured by serum ferritin1. The overall adverse event rate for Exjade was similar to the placebo arm1. “Patients with NTDT can suffer severe and life-changing complications from chronic iron overload,” said Elliott Vichinsky, MD, Medical Director, Hematology/Oncology, Children’s Hospital and Research Center, Oakland, California. “In these thalassemia patients, excess iron starts to accumulate at birth yet is

often undetected until serious symptoms appear in early adulthood. With this approval of Exjade, physicians will be able to offer NTDT patients a treatment option, helping fulfill a critical unmet need.” Thalassemia refers to a diverse group of genetic disorders that affect red blood cell production, causing anemia. Unlike patients with other types of thalassemia, those with NTDT syndromes don’t require regular transfusions, a significant cause of chronic iron overload. However, even without transfusions, NTDT patients still accumulate excess iron through intestinal absorption, leading to debilitating health complications like liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, blood clots, bone disease, pulmonary hypertension, and vascular and endocrine diseases2,7. “For years, Exjade has effectively treated chronic iron overload in transfused thalassemia patients,” said Alessandro Riva, Global Head, Oncology Development and Medical Affairs, Novartis Oncology. “Now, for the first time, thalassemia patients who do not receive regular transfusions but suffer the same debilitating effects from chronic iron overload, have an approved treatment option.” According to published studies, at least three quarters of a million people worldwide have NTDT syndromes, although as understanding of the disease increases it is probable the Rajnath number will grow3-5Singh . Because NTDT

patients are not symptomatic at birth, when most thalassemias are diagnosed, they are often underdiagnosed and undertreated6. Many complications associated with chronic iron overload begin to appear as early as age 10 and become increasingly common as patients reach their 20s or 30s8. Most NTDT patients are of South and Southeast Asian, Mediterranean or Middle Eastern origin, with immigration broadening the global prevalence6,9.

References 1. Taher A, Porter J, Viprakasit V, et al. Deferasirox significantly reduces iron overload in non-transfusion-dependent thalassemia: 1-year results from a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Blood. 2012. Published online before print May 15, 2012. 2. Musallam KM, Cappellini MD, Wood JC, et al. Iron overload in non-transfusion-dependent thalassemia: a clinical perspective. Blood Reviews. 2012:26S:S16-S19. 3. Vichinsky E. Hemoglobin E syndromes. Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2007;79-83. 4. Weatherall DJ. The definition and epidemiology of non-transfusion-dependent thalassemia. Blood Reviews. 2012:26S:S3-S6. 5. Vichinsky EP. Changing patterns of thalassemia worldwide. Ann NY Acad Sci. 2005;1054:18-24. 6. Thalassaemia International Federation. The Thalassaemia International Federation’s New Focus: Addressing the Management of Non-Transfusion-Dependent Thalassaemias (NTDT). Position Paper 5.2. March 20, 2012. Accessed at: http://www.thalassaemia.org.cy/pdf/NTDT_Position_Paper_Final.pdf. 7. Musallam KM, Cappellini MD, Wood JC, Motta I, Graziadei G, Tamin H, Taher AT. Elevated liver iron concentration is a marker of increased morbidity in patients with β thalassemia intermedia. Haematologica. 2011 Nov;96(11):1605-12. 8. Taher AT. Age-related complications in treatment-naïve patients with thalassemia intermedia. Brit J Haematol. 2010;150:486-489. 9. Taher A, Cappellini MD, Musallam KM. Recent advances and treatment challenges in patients with non-transfusiondependent thalassemia. Blood. 2012;26S:S1-2. 10. Taher AT, Porter JB, Viprakasit V et al. Deferasirox continues to reduce iron overload in non-transfusion-dependent thalassemia: a one-year, open-label extension to a oneyear, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study (THALASSA). Poster presented at the 54th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition in Atlanta, GA (8-11 December 2012). Abstract #3258.

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Notorious Attack Spurs India to Approve New Rape Laws

BY JIM YARDLEY NEW DELHI (NYT): India’s government on Sunday approved tough new laws to deter sexual violence against women, including the death penalty in certain rape cases, as leaders moved to respond to public outrage over a recent gang rape case in the national capital. The new package of laws, signed on Sunday by President Pranab Mukherjee after earlier approval by the cabinet, amends India’s penal code and, for the first time, will apply the death penalty to rape cases in which the victim dies. The new measures also made crimes such as voyeurism, stalking, acid attacks and the trafficking of women as punishable under criminal law. India’s coalition national government has been criticized for its clumsy handling of the protests that erupted after the brutal Dec. 16 gang rape of a young woman, who later died. The new ordinance takes effect immediately, though it must be approved by India’s Parliament within six months. Reaction has been mixed. Even as some legal advocates praised the changes as overdue, leaders of different women’s groups on Saturday held a news conference appealing to the president not to sign the measure, which they considered incomplete. “This is a piecemeal and fragmented ordinance, which seems to be more of an exercise to make an impact,” said Kirti Singh, a lawyer who specializes in women’s issues. “After 20 years of not doing anything, they seem to be in a tremendous hurry to do something or the other to appease public sentiment.” Last month, a special three-member committee led by a former Supreme Court chief justice, J. S. Verma, completed a far-reaching report that urged the government to act on a broad range of measures, including changes to criminal penalties, but also placing an emphasis on education and a holistic solution. While the new measures followed some of the recommendations by the Verma committee, others were ignored, including the panel’s call for criminal penalties in cases of marital rape, as well as the prosecu-

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tion of military personnel who commit sexual assaults. In addition, the Verma committee pointedly rejected the death penalty in cases of rape. India’s cabinet approved the new

for the death penalty,” said Kavita Srivastava, the national secretary for the People’s Union for Civil Liberties. “Here we are still looking for an eye for an eye framework.”

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President Pranab Mukherjee signed laws increasing the penalties for sexual assault.

measures on Friday, as leaders spoke about their desire to send a signal to the public after the New Delhi rape case. Included in the changes were provisions to improve police investigations of sex crimes, such as requiring the presence of female officers to help interview rape victims. The new provisions include varying degrees of punishment, ranging from a minimum of seven years in prison to the death penalty, in those cases where the victim dies or is left in a vegetative state. Many advocates, while welcoming some of the changes, objected to the introduction of the death penalty. “Every country is moving toward the elimination of death penalty, and India is strengthening the legislation

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BY UTPAL BHASKAR, REMYA NAIR & AMRIT RAJ NEW DELHI (Mint): The Indian arm of Royal Dutch Shell Plc , Shell India Pvt. Ltd, has been accused by the income-tax (I-T) authorities of underpricing an intragroup share transfer by Rs. 15,000 crore and consequently evading taxes, said a person familiar with the development. Following the notice, which is one of the biggest transfer pricing orders by the I-T department, Shell India plans to challenge the assessment, added the same person, who did not want to be identified. A spokesperson for the India arm confirmed receipt of the notice from the tax department. A Shell India spokesperson said in an emailed response: “Shell India tax experts have indeed been in discussions with the Indian tax authorities on this issue over the past week and do not agree with their views. The tax officer has now made an assessment and passed an order. We will review the order and initiate consequent appropriate actions.” A Royal Dutch Shell spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to Mint’s queries. Transfer pricing refers to the practice of arm’s length pricing for transactions between group companies based in different countries to ensure that a fair price—one that would have been charged to an unrelated party— is levied. India has seen a sharp increase in disputes relating to transfer pricing, with the tax department adopting an aggressive stand while arriving at a price for the transaction. The transfer pricing assessment by the tax department for the year ended March 2008 saw the government raising claims to the tune of $9.5 billion (around Rs.50,635 crore today). With multinational companies looking to expand their footprint in

Shell India Accused of Tax Evasion Shell India’s LNG terminal at Hazira, Gujarat. Apart from running the liquefied natural gas terminal at Hazira on India’s west coast, Shell India also has a presence in domestic fuel sales.

Income-tax department says firm had underpriced intragroup share transfer by Rs15,000 cr and evaded taxes consequently India, the issue of arm’s length pricing has come under increasing scrutiny of the transfer pricing wing of the I-T department. It also comes at a time when the government is struggling to meet its fiscal deficit targets on account of slowing revenue collections, especially on the corporate tax front. Television channel ET Now had reported that “the income-tax order relates to the issue of 87 crore shares by Shell India to an overseas group entity, Shell Gas BV, in March 2009. The shares were issued at Rs.10/ share, which has been contested by the income-tax authorities in Mumbai. The income-tax department has challenged the valuation methodology of Shell India and has pegged the value of the shares at Rs.180/ share instead”. “The issue is being studied in detail. The legal counsels are being consulted whether to approach a court of law or the I-T department. There are a lot of infirmities in the order,” said

the person cited above. The company has the option of going to the dispute resolution panel or to the commissioner of I-T (appeals). This comes in the backdrop of the $2 billion tax dispute between Vodafone Group Plc and the Indian tax authorities, though the transactions are of a different nature. Shell India told tax authorities its shares were valued at around Rs.7 and, therefore, the allotment of shares to the overseas group entity at Rs.10 each was at the market rate, according to ET Now. “The transfer pricing officials challenged the manner in which the valuation was done using discounted free cash flow method,” it said. The valuation was higher than what had been shown, the channel added. The tax department concluded the recent round of transfer pricing on 30 January for the period ended March 2009. A Central Board of Direct Taxes spokesperson couldn’t be contacted. Apart from running the liquefied natural gas terminal at Hazira on India’s west coast, Shell India also has a presence in domestic fuel sales. “After the conclusion of the audit

cycle, the transfer pricing order goes to the assessing officer, who will consolidate other issues as well and come out with a comprehensive draft order,” explained Rohan Phatarphekar, India head (transfer pricing) at audit and consulting firm KPMG. To avoid such disputes, the government notified advance pricing agreements (APA) last year. APA is an agreement between a taxpayer and the tax department on a transfer pricing procedure for a particular set of transactions entered into before the deal. According to Rajat Kathuria, director and chief executive at Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, the case may turn into another long-drawn scrap that will discourage investors for a while.

“It will become another event which will worry an investor sitting on the fence. But, in the longer run, it is unlikely to deter investors from making investment decisions in the country,” he said. “The timing of this incident means that it will take a lot of time to fructify as they will most probably move court. I don’t think they (the government) could realistically anticipate the money to come this fiscal, if the idea is to bridge the fiscal deficit by this.” Kathuria said that there is an urgent need to fast-track such processes. “The Vodafone case is still going on and this (Shell India) could be another such case. A fast-track solution to such problems will not hassle foreign investors,” he said. However, “demands of this magnitude do not come to closure very quickly”.

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Women’s Cup: Sri Lanka in Super Six, India Out MUMBAI (Cricinfo): Sri Lanka 282 for 5 (Rasangika 84, Siriwardene 59, Kaushalya 56*, Mendis 55) beat India 144 (Malhotra 38, Seneviratna 2-10) by 138 runs Less than a week ago, few Sri Lankans apart from the players’ families and board officials knew the country had a women’s cricket team, according to the captain Shashikala Siriwardene. On February 1, a shock last-ball win against England, for the first time ever, led to the team manager Mr Aroos being besieged by phone calls from Sri Lankan media until midnight. If Aroos manages to get any sleep tonight, he’ll be lucky. After accounting for England, his band of girls has knocked hosts India out of the Women’s World Cup, beating another big side for the first time. Not only do they qualify for the Super Sixes, they carry with them two points, after their victory against England who have also qualified for the next stage. While it may be too early to compare them to Arjuna Ranatunga’s world beaters of 1996, the temptation could become harder to resist if Siriwardene and Co continue in the same uninhibited vein. To beat India convincingly two days after a 209-run walloping at the hands of West Indies needed an uninhibited display alright, from cricketers who had achieved little in their careers so far. Deepika Rasangika, with a batting average of 12, swung her way to a brisk 84 at No. 3. Eshani Kaushalya, she of all those brawny boundaries against England and still having an average of 15, blasted her second frenetic 56 in five days. Yasoda Mendis and Siriwardene were there as solid bulwarks once again. In the chase, Kaushalya and Udeshika Prabodhani gave little width, unlike the India bowlers, and Mithali Raj and Co fell apart without any fight. They needed 283 to win, 251 to make the Super Six ahead of West Indies, and they folded up for 144. Sri Lanka lost Chamari Atapattu, the trailblazer against England, to the fifth ball of the game after choosing to bat. Rasangika and Mendis responded with a century stand at five runs an over. Rasangika didn’t seem to have too many strokes, she needed little more than the cut and the slap through covers. India, especially Jhulan Goswami, kept providing her

Ehani Kaushalya smashed 56 frrom 31 deliveries to push Sri Lanka to 282.

width, and she kept hitting fours. Mendis wasn’t differentiated against, and she didn’t let width go unpunished either. India looked nowhere close to breaking through at any stage of the innings, their fielding soon ceased to be of much help in stemming the run flow. Mendis’ departure in the 25th over to a steepling mishit to mid-on with the score on 121 brought in Siriwardene, and after profiting from more width outside off, she started lofting boundaries elegantly over extra cover. A half-century stand followed which ended when Rasangika mishit to extra cover in the 40th over. Sri Lanka were 188 for 3 at that stage, already on the way to a stiff total. Kaushalya was to put it further out of India’s reach, helping Sri Lanka take 92 off the last nine overs. Her hitting range was mostly straight, including three sixes, the last of which came off the final ball of the innings. Gouher Sultana leaked 17 runs in that last over as Kaushalya kept battering the straight boundary. India’s chase never was as Sri Lanka gave them next to nothing to hit out against. Prabodhini, a left-armer bowling loopy inswingers with a

short trundle, settled on a testing good length. Kaushalya caught Poonam Raut on the pads with one that nipped in sharply under the lights. Raj had to fire if India were to make anything of the match. She did time a few beautiful drives through the off side but Prabodhini took her out, trapped in front pushing outside the line to an inswinger. Harmanpreet Kaur, defiant centurion against England, cut her second ball from Chamani Seneviratna to backward point. Thirush Kamini, unable to beat the infield in her 49-ball stay, edged Sripali Weerakkody awkwardly to the wicketkeeper. At 50 for 4 in the 18th over, India’s World Cup was already all but over. When Seneviratna trapped No. 11 Shubhlakshmi Sharma in front in the 43rd over, Sri Lanka’s initial reaction said it all. They just walked smilingly towards each other, revelling silently in confirmation of their progression to the Super Six and having consigned India to the seventh-place playoff against Pakistan. Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo.

Pak Out As Well CUTTACK: Riding on a splendid all-round display from Marizanne Kapp, South Africa routed Pakistan by 126 runs in Cuttack on Tuesday to register their first win in this World Cup and qualify for the Super Six round. Kapp scored her maiden hundred and was involved in record stand for the sixth wicket with Dane van Niekerk. She also contributed with the ball, taking three wickets for 18 runs, as Pakistan were dismissed for 81. It was an intense battle at the Barabati Stadium, with both teams meeting in a virtual knock-out game for the final spot in the Super Six in Group B. Having faced heavy defeats in their other group matches, Pakistan, who were put in to field by South African skipper Mignon du Preez, came on to the field eager to turn the tide. When their new-ball combination of pacers Asmavia Iqbal and Qanita Jali reduced South Africa to 55 for four in the 17th over, the Asian team held the upper hand. Just as South Africa began building a partnership, Susan Benade was run out, stranded well short of her crease after a moment of confusion with Kapp. However, Kapp and van Niekerk combined to ensure that the South African bowlers had a strong target to defend. Pakistan’s tactics of bowling out Jalil as early as the 21st over, and restricting Iqbal’s spell to six overs, backfired as the lack of variation allowed the South African batsmen to score at will.

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SPORTS

Sardar to Lead Hockey

NEW DELHI: Sardar Singh will lead India’s 18-man squad Hockey India in the Hero Hockey World League Round 2 to be played at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium from February 18-24. Hockey India selector Syed Ali, chief coach Michael Nobbs and exercise physiologist Jason Konrath along with government observer Harbinder Singh selected the team and six standbys on the basis of their performance in the ongoing Hockey India League. VR Raghunath has been named the vice-captain of the team. The preparatory camp for the event will start from February 11. Hosts India (FIH World Ranking 11) will play against Ireland (15), China (18), Oman (36), Bangladesh (40) and Fiji (71) in the round-robin tournament. India will open their campaign against Fiji February 18 followed by matches against Oman (February 20), Ireland (February 21), China (February 23) and Bangladesh (February 24). All India matches will be played under lights. The tournament is part of the qualification league for the Hockey World Cup 2014 to be held in The Hague, Netherlands. The squad: Goal Keepers: PR Sreejesh, PT Rao. Fullbacks: VR Raghunath, Rupinderpal Singh, Harbir Singh. Half backs: Birendra Lakra, Manpreet Singh, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam, Sardar Singh (Captain), Gurjinder Singh. Forwards: Danish Mujtaba, Nithin Thimmaiah, Mandeep Singh, Malik Singh, SV Sunil, Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Dharamvir Singh, Gurvinder Singh Chandi. Reserves: Sushant Tirkey (Goalkeeper), Sandeep Singh (Fullback), MB Aiyappa (Halfback), Gurmail Singh (Halfback), Akashdeep Singh (Forward), Imran Khan (Forward).

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Specter of Intolerance Stalks India BY RAJ KANWAR IAN INDIA CORRESPONDENT An infectious specter of intolerance seems to be stalking India today, not even sparing the tallest of the intellectual giants, and laying to rest in the process the much flaunted Right of ‘Freedom of Expression’. The first to fall a casualty was the noted social scientist Ashis Nandy who voiced ‘an idea’which in naked terminology and without the context read, “It is a fact that most of the corrupt come from the OBCs and the Scheduled Castes, and now increasingly Scheduled Tribes, and as long as this is the case, the Indian republic will survive.” The statement that Nandy made at the Jaipur Literature Festival had stirred a hornet’s nest and brought forth both instant and orchestrated protests from scheduled castes and tribes and other Dalit outfits. Even the mainstream political parties too joined the chorus of criticism demanding Nandy’s arrest. Nandy had certainly not bargained for such vicious protests, and in vain tried to explain that his statement had been torn out of context and that he had always been a supporter of the rights of the scheduled castes, tribes and their like. But the protests stridently grew louder and louder despite instant support from his fellow writers and intellectuals. In all this hullaballoo, no one was ready to listen to voice of reason and calm. Trying to soften the frayed tempers, the hurt Nandy issued an apology of sorts but without any success. Even though the Supreme Court on Friday stayed his arrest in all criminal proceedings arising out of his casteist remarks, it nevertheless gave him a piece of its mind by taking a critical view of his controversial statement. The learned judges too felt that shorn of its intellectual veneer, the statement attributed to Nandy did somewhat look offensive and capable of hurting the sentiments of some sections of the society. In a newspaper article, Shail Mayaram, a senior fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi, wrote that it was “troubling that the public debate in the aftermath of the Jaipur Literature Festival is assuming a ‘Dalit versus others’ dimensions despite the sup-

Salman Rushdie

Social scientist Ashis Nandy

Kamal Hassan

Kamal Haasan’s ‘Vishwaroopam’ was banned in Tamil Nadu last month for 15 days after 24 Muslim groups objected to certain scenes of the film as derogatory to their community.

port that Nandy has received from fellow intellectuals including Kancha Ilaiah, a leading dalit scholar. She has known Nandy now for nearly a quarter century and vouches for his unimpeachable integrity as a great scholar. Many other scholars too have come to the defense of Nandy. Yet, the passions that his otherwise scholarly prognosis aroused among his detractors were not only condemnatory but also full of venom with both the

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political and community leaders demanding his instant arrest. If this was a bit too much of intolerance, the controversy over Kamal Haasan’s mega budget trilingual espionage thriller, Vishwaroopam, written, directed and produced by the noted actor himself, was much worse. A Muslim outfit called the Tamil Nadu Muslim Federation took to the streets with vociferous and raucous noises against what it called

were “denigration of their religion and showing it in bad light”. The Tamil Nadu government promptly banned its screening on the ground that it could lead to a law and order problem. This outfit even demanded that the Center Board of Film Certification must be reconstituted to make it more responsive to the sensitivities of the various sections. Whatever be the pros and cons of the controversy, the fact remains that we Indians have become far too sensitive even to slight pinpricks. The foremost and fundamental question of “freedom of expression” is always put on the back burner. Whether it is a movie or a novel such like Satanic Verses of Salman Rushdie or one of the many books of fiction by Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen, there always have been people arrogating to themselves the role of super censors and demanding ad nauseam banning of books or movies. Eventually, the superstar Kamal Haasan has had to compromise and sit down with his bitter critics to find an amicable way out of the imbroglio; he has had to cut several dialogues in the movie to pacify his critics. Meanwhile, the Hindi version of the picture was released last week in many theatres in North India without any untoward incidents. It is indeed unfortunate that a parliamentary democracy that India is should so abjectly kowtow to the reasonable or unreasonable demands of these super censors. The question is not of the right or the wrong of the issue. What is at stake is the freedom of expression and freedom to differ. Undoubtedly, this freedom has some reasonable restriction but such

restriction cannot obviously curb the freedom of expression that is one’s fundamental right. A third equally reprehensible event pertained to Salman Rushdie who was told not to set foot in Kolkata where he wanted to attend the International Kolkata Book Fair and also to promote a movie based on his book Midnight Children. Many, many years ago Rushdie had written The SatanicVerses that had provoked furious reaction among the Muslims in much of the world; the then Iran’s Khomeini had declared a fatwa sentencing him to death and promising a couple of million dollars to anyone who killed Rushdie. From then onwards even after lapse of so many years, Salman Rushdie continues to be a persona non grata in many Muslim country. Rushdie was born and raised in India and is a Person of Indian Origin (PIO). His entry into India as such cannot be banned, yet he is generally told that he would not be welcome here mainly under the pressure of Muslim groups. Our ruling parties in the various states timidly succumb to their vote banks thus making India the only secular country in the world where Rushdie is not welcomed. It is indeed an unfortunate scenario in which the Indians today find themselves. Our traditional culture has always been one of tolerance and mutual understanding. We have welcomed and assimilated cultures from other countries and have always given due respect even to those who thought differently. The narrow mindedness that has today crept into our body polity is a recent phenomenon and that is our curse.

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